Anirudh Thapa says before the Qatar match Igor Stimac took the team to dinner
This is the anniversary of Qatar defeat (draw) at their own den. Its just one year back 10 September 2019 India creates history in The FIFA Worldcup Qualifiers. They drew with Qatar by 0-0 and became the first Asian team to do that.
Anirudh Thapa is relishing his memory at Doha, where they drew with the Asia champions. In interaction with AIFF TV, Anirudh Thapa recalls his memory.
Anirudh Thapa says before the match Igor Stimac took the team to dinner
“Against Oman, we gave them two chances and they took the game away from us. But we believed in ourselves. There were talks that we did not play well, and it was actually true. The coach (Igor Stimac) kept motivating us. He spoke to us and said that we can’t afford to look back and we should prove everyone wrong. In the training sessions, everyone was motivated.
“Surprisingly, the coach took us out for dinner before the game. That had never happened before. But it was a good thing. He told us to enjoy that time and forget about the game. We unwinded ourselves and from that moment everything changed.”Anirudh Thapa told AIFF Tv.
Anirudh Thapa says in the second half Igor Stimac told Sahal to move forward
“When we were standing in the tunnel, we looked at each other and felt a positive vibe amongst the players. That helped a lot in the 90 minutes. Yes, there was pressure but we gave our all.
“During halftime, the coach said that we did the first part of our job by defending well. But we also needed to move forward. He was telling Sahal (Abdul Samad) to move up along with Udanta [Singh]. Sahal did a good job in the second half and in fact, we got our chances as well. Things could have been different if we had taken those. Most importantly, we did not make any mistake and with Jhingan [Sandesh Jhingan] and Gurpreet [Gurpreet Singh Sandhu] playing so well, we got a positive result.”
Anirudh Thapa says everyone shocked even Xavi Hernandez was in shock too
“Qatar was shocked. They were not expecting that. Xavi (Xavi Hernandez) was there in the stands and he was also shocked. They attacked from all positions. What we did at their home ground, no one could do that (in that season). It’s not that they did not respect us, but they did not expect us to play like the way we did. It will be called the Indian football revolution. It helped us realize our true potential.”
Anirudh Thapa says without the fans the match was difficult
“It will be fun. The viewers will get to know what players are saying on the pitch. It might be a bit embarrassing. They can hear our own voices and the coaches shouting from the sidelines. It will be interesting as all the teams will be in one city. But we will miss the fans. It is always great to have fans and without them, it will be difficult.”Anirudh Thapa concluded.